OSWEGO – Five SUNY Oswego seniors active in research, volunteerism, leadership, study-travel and other pursuits will receive the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence – the highest student recognition through the statewide university system.
This year’s Oswego honorees for outstanding achievements inside and outside the classroom are Larissa Assam, a biology major; Kyle Brayton, a five-year accounting-MBA major; Lindsay King, a dual major in global and international studies and in communication and social interaction; Nicole Leader, a childhood education major with a concentration in earth science; and Rhiannon Peshniak, a dual major in history and anthropology.
President and founder of the Minority Association of Pre-health Students’ Oswego chapter, Assam completed an internship at Oswego Hospital, did research in Calcutta as part of the college’s Global Laboratory, job-shadowed physicians as a peer leader with CSTEP Health Connections and was named Peer Educator of the Year in 2012 by the Oswego chapter of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. The native of Cameroon, West Africa, also served as a tutor in the Office of Learning Services, a Laker Leader orientation guide, teaching assistant and as director of programming for the African Student Organization. “I will be starting medical school this August at SUNY Upstate,” Assam said.
Following internships with Biogen Idec in Boston and accounting firms in New York City and Syracuse, Brayton serves as assistant to the director of SUNY’s Professional Science Masters Consortium. He was chapter president of the Accounting Society and the Financial Management Association, as well as finance vice president of WTOP-TV and Beta Alpha Psi honor society. He also helped organize “Meet the Accountants Night” and assisted community members with tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. “In July, I will move to New York City, where I will start with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as an audit associate,” Brayton said.
Recipient of CAPA’s Jose Ramon Perez International Beijing Scholarship, King served as an international marketing intern for the Great Wall Club in that Chinese city. She also had study-abroad experiences in Istanbul and Havana. She interned for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Dan Maffei. King has volunteered as a peer mentor for first-year students, teaching assistant, study-abroad mentor and intern for Admissions open houses. She is a member of the Vega and Phi Beta Delta honor societies. “I’m currently in the process of applying to law school. Ultimately, my goal is to work in legislation or government affairs,” King said.
Four-year member and two-year captain of the women’s tennis team, Leader is a four-year member of the SUNY Athletic Conference All-Academic team. Focused on leadership, she completed “The Program” captains’ training with the Marines and StrengthsQuest Captain’s Training. Leader won the Dean’s Writing Prize for curriculum and instruction and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She served as a math tutor and is now student teaching in Baldwinsville and Parish. “After graduation, I plan to begin my career as an elementary school educator while obtaining my master’s degree at Oswego State,” Leader said.
With a historical research presentation in Kielce, Poland, and an anthropological one in Chicago, Peshniak has had her latest research project accepted by the American Association of Physical Anthropologists for presentation next month in Calgary. This semester, she is helping analyze artifacts at Fort Drum, and serves as a history, writing and anthropology tutor and as an anthropology research lab assistant. The two-time president of the Anthropology Club is a member of the Lambda Alpha and Phi Alpha Theta national honor societies. “I am pursuing internships and jobs at national and state museums and plan on attending graduate school within the next two years,” Peshniak said.
The awards will be bestowed at a ceremony April 2 in Albany.